Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Joseph Smith Papers: Histories Vol. 2 now available

Excerpts of Joseph Smith Paper Project, Histories Volume 2, Clair Barrus, Worlds Without End
The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories Volume 2, Assigned Histories, 1831-1847 edited by Karen Lynn Davidson, Richard L. Jensen and David J. Whittaker (volume editors) [is now available].

The first volume includes materials in which Joseph Smith was directly involved. Volume 2 includes four histories assigned by Joseph Smith to others, over which he exercised no control. ...


1. John Whitmer's history was originally mandated in 1831. He probably took notes early on, but he did not start writing his history until after 1835. ...

Whitmer went on to finish his history after his 1838 excommunication, and he ignored requests by the church for his notes. His anger towards Joseph Smith is evident in his writings. ...

2. W. W. Phelps was an editor of the Evening and Morning Star newspaper. It was thought that a history of the church would make the paper more interesting.  He fulfilled a request for such an article which is the shortest of the histories in this volume, appearing in 1833 in the Evening and Morning Star.

3. John Corrill was assigned to write a history in 1838 to replace the excommunicated John Whitmer as an assigned historian. Corrill later became disaffected with Joseph Smith, but still published his history. It includes his own personalized statement for joining and leaving church.

Corrill is the best writer of the histories. ... He felt Joseph Smith's claim of prophetic leadership was empty. This history has not been previously published, and is the most anticipated piece in this volume. ...

4. Edward Partridge. From liberty jail, Joseph Smith asked Bishop Partridge to write a history of the persecutions of the church. Three installments were published in the Times and Seasons newspaper. Before the installments were completed Partridge passed away. The editors included additional installments from others to complete the story.


Nathan Wait regarding online data (Associate Production Manager)

Documents are on the website related to the materials published in this volume. The A1 and B1 histories are now on the website, with C1 planned by the end of the year. Eventually the full set of these histories will be online.

Also online is Edward Partridge's manuscript, which came from the First Presidency (along withRevelations Book 1).

Yesterday morning six Book of Abraham documents were published, the 1835 Hymn Book, and a comparison of versions of revelations. Biographical data continues to be added over time.

Coming soon on website is Joseph Smith's 2nd letterbook and more Egyptian documents. Improvements to the search engine will occur over the next month as well.